Fallout 4 doesn’t explain settlements all that well in the tutorial like quests. After you’ve been told to build you 5th beacon it’s easy to become disillusioned and stop. The wasteland needs you and there’s no harm in looking up a few hints on running Sanctuary or the Castle.
Working hard to get your settlements up to 100 Happiness? Looking to fashion an army that will wear whatever you want them to?
You’re going to need all the Fallout 4 Settlement tips and tricks to make that happen. Thankfully Non-Fiction Gaming has just the details you need to build a sustainable town.
Unlocking the Benevolent Leader Achievement
Benevolent Leader is a tough achievement to get in Fallout 4. You can earn it by having a large town with a maximum happiness level.
This guide will show you how to reach maximum happiness in a large settlement in Fallout 4 and unlock the Benevolent Leader trophy.
Perks For The Ultimate Settlements
You should know that some more advanced structures require you to have certain perks in various trees, so you probably won’t be able to build all the available stuff until later in the game.
If you’re focusing on building settlements, here are all the perks needed to unlock everything:
Gun Nut 1 – Allows Heavy Turrets (INT 3)
Science 1 – Allows Industrial Water Purifiers (INT 6)
Science 4 / Gun Nut 3 – All the extra Turrets. Not “needed,” as Heavy Turrets have the same defence value. Missile Turrets and Heavy Lasers are pretty amazing (INT 6, LVL 41 / INT 3, LVL 25)
Local Leader 2 – Needed for Supply lines and for trade stands. (CH 6, LVL 14)
Cap Collector 2 – For Level 3 trade stands (CH 1, LVL 20)
Medic 1 – Clinics (INT 2)
Scrapper 1 or 2 (Optional) – You can salvage uncommon components like screws, aluminum, and copper when scrapping weapons and armor. Makes building up that materials stockpile a little easier. (INT 5)
Settlers need 1 food and 1 water and a bed to stay at 50% happiness. The higher your happiness the more productive your settlers will be. If happiness falls too low, you can lose control of a settlement.
Some structures such as defence posts and shops require you to assign settlers manually. An unemployed settler will usually assign themselves to food production or a scavenger table, however it’s usually best to assign them yourself.
You can trade your settlers weapons, ammo, armour, and even grenades, but you must equip them yourself. The button to equip them is listed on the bottom of the screen in the trade menu and varies by platform. Use this to give your assigned settlers a uniform, either distinctive clothing or items you’ve named from the crafting tables can work well here.
Food For Thought
The more you feed your settlers, the happier they will be. Each will consume up to 2 food before excess is stored in the workshop. So if you have 20 settlers and want them to be really happy, have at least 40 food.
Each settler can usually work 6 food worth. So that’s 6 Mutfruit trees or 12 Tato plants. They don’t need variety but it can be good as the extra will be stored and is usable in some crafting.
Water Water Everywhere
There is a bit to consider here. Water is good. Purified water is better. Settlers will always drink from a local water source, then draw water that is needed from a supply line. This is important.
If you want a settlement to be very happy, and it does not have a place for a water purifier, you must connect a supply line, delete Water Pumps in the settlement, and produce excess purified water at another settlement.
Fortunately, Sanctuary, The Castle, and Taffington Boathouse are capable of HUGE amounts of water production and a large defence to keep it safe.
These will provide a steady supply of purified water, which can be sold for profit or used as a healing item.
Each settler needs their own bed. Any bed is enough. A bed with a roof over it will make settlers happy . Mattresses make them happier than sleeping bags, and beds with frames make them happier than mattresses.
The best bed is a bed with a frame under a roof. So dont leave your settlers out in the rain.
All except Weapons and Armour add happiness. Bars and Medical seem to have the most effect.
For this to work you will have to have at least 6 Charisma value, as stated above you’ll need some of the perks in the Charisma tree, high enough level and some spare settlers. You probably shouldn’t dabble into this until at least level 14 (required level to unlock one of the perks needed for this).
The whole point is to build shops in your settlement. They become a good spot to offload your own loots from killing and raiding. These shops will also generate passive income over time and are a great way not to go broke in the Commonwealth. Initial investment can be a bit steep, but it soon pays off.
You have to have two points in the Local Leader perk from the Charisma tree (requires 6 CHA and level 14) to be able to build shops. Once you do that you have to assign a free settler to the shop, for it to become active.
To get the higher tier (lvl 3) stores, you’ll need the Cap Collector 2 Perk. Profit deposited into your workbench will be based on the number of settlers you have.
Your settlement has chance of being attacked. To deter attacks, build defences. A base with less defence than the total of its combined resources is likely to be attacked. A base with a 2X Defence to Resources ratio is almost never attacked.
Make your defences high up and hard to access. The last thing you need is a Super mutant bashing your Spotlight with a Super Sledge. Make him run through a hail of gunfire and die on the way.
Create a firing line. Line your turrets up where they can support each other.
Use the terrain. Build or use natural choke points and defend them heavily.
Defend the inside of your base, too. A perimeter is not sufficient. Enemies can and will spawn inside your walls.
Put your generators well behind your defences. They are primary targets keep them safe.
Supply Lines connect the workshops of settlements. They will transfer food, water, and junk between settlements. They will not transfer stored constructed items. What this means is dumping junk in any workshop will allow it to be used for parts in any connected workshop.
Also, if a surplus in food or water exists at a connected settlement, it will supply a deficit to a connected settlement.
Supply lines make a network. Only 1 connection to the network is needed per settlement. Settlers assigned to supply lines become Provisioners.
Provisioners can not be killed, thought they may be mortal on Survival difficulty.
Like all settler they can be equipped including guns, grenades, and Combat Armour. To assign a Supply Line enter the Workshop and highlight the settler. The key will be displayed in the list at the bottom of the screen and varies by platform.
Medium Generators are the lowest net junk cost per power produced. Use large generators if you are at your build limit and need space.
Lights do not consume power but must be near a Power Coupler to work. Imagine a sphere of 2 prefab units in radius. If it is inside that sphere it should light up. Make sure a power line is strung to the power coupler.
Lights increase a settlement’s happiness.
More Tips and Tricks
- Use Wooden Floor #5 with the concrete foundation to level off an area. Place a Wood floor #1 at the level you want, and snap the foundations to it. This can be a great way to ‘fix’ the walls of The Castle.
- You can keep a tight perimeter for beds / traders and put your farms outside of it. Turrets have a very long range, the higher up they are, the better their line of sight can be.
- Build a Food / Drink stand and surround it with a chair for each of your settlers. They will hang out at night and socialize.
- Settlers who are not assigned a job will sit at the Food / Drink stand after 9 am.
- Settlements with a powered recruitment beacon may gain up to one settler per day. If your base is full, you can move a settler to another settlement, and that settlement can grow again.
- A Bell or a Siren will alert settlers to danger. Your settlers will use it on their own when they see danger.
- Brahman might, one day, for a few seconds, hang out at a Brahman Feeding Trough. Do not believe their lies.
- Once your settlers are nice and well fed, assign excess settlers to the Scavenger Stations. #1 under Resources, Misc.
- Flags are located under wall decorations and are available based on your allegiances.
- All manner of decorations will add a very slight increase to happiness. Once your base is set up feel free to decorate liberally.
- Caravans can be added to your settlements by completing a quest chain in Bunker Hill. First clear the National Guard Armoury for Deb, then talk to Kessler to get the quest Kill Zeller. Rescue the captured caravan survivors, then complete. You will be able to build a caravan post in your settlement. This will cause the traders from Bunker Hill to stop at your settlements.
Do you know how I can tell if someone is a Synth? They don’t leave a comment below when they have other Fallout 4 Settlement tips to add. If you see someone withholding information like that, please report them immediately.
Take care out there in the wasteland.